21st Century Fox Acquires 5 Percent Stake in Vice Media

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Shane Smith

News Corp actually closed the purchase just prior to the company splitting into two entities, with a price that values the asset at $1.4 billion.

21st Century Fox has acquired a 5 percent stake in Vice Media for $70 million, people familiar with the deal confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.

The deal values Vice Media at $1.4 billion. The Financial Times first reported the news. 

Vice, which began as a print magazine, has branched out into investigative journalism and forged its brand as an edgy, digital news outlet targeting a younger demographic. The company partnered with HBO for Vice, a newsmagazine series that was recently picked up for a second season. 

News Corp actually closed the purchase of Vice just prior to the company splitting into two entities: News Corp for print assets and 21st Century Fox for entertainment assets. Vice will be housed in the latter.

"If people are valuing us at a billion dollars, then fine. We're not selling, though," founder Shane Smith told THR in April. Smith added at the time: "Vice started from nothing, and it became this. Could a big conglomerate have invented it and foisted it on the public? Probably not."

Nevertheless, News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch signaled his interest in Vice in October when he tweeted:

Although, when asked by a Twitter user at the time if he was thinking about buying Vice, Murdoch replied: